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Chad Terpstra

Lightweight follow focus for short still lenses

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I'm looking for a mini follow focus that works well with short lenses and allows room for a matte box. All of the top options from Arri and O'conner have gear boxes that are too long and collide with either the camera or the matte box. - In other words they can't reach the lens gear from behind the lens because they hit the camera body and when placed in front of the lens ( away from the camera) the gear box interferes with the matte box.

 

The only options I've seen that work are the studio units like the Arri FF4 and the CFF-1 by O'conner. They arm out the gear away from the gearbox and take up a tiny amount of space once they reach the lens.

 

Does anyone know of a lightweight follow focus that has a slim gearbox and works well with short still lenses?

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hi check the ff dv format from arri, chrosziel, cavision, alfatron, other mono-rod ff. They're all smaller then arri FF3,4, may fit or have a arm-extension that will do the job.

 

http://provideocoalition.com/freshdv/story/freshdv_reviews_arri_mff1_ff4_follow_focus

 

http://www.emit.fr/fr/location/30.html

 

http://www.cavision.com/followfocus/singlewheelnew.htm

 

http://www.alphatron.tv/ProPull/follow-focus-15mm-rod-support.html

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Edelkrone makes a nice FF that has a pretty small footprint on your rod system. The marking wheel is turned toward the operator for easy operator viewing as well.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1016665&is=REG&Q=&A=details

 

Oh, it might be as lightweight as you wanted. Its pretty solid construction.

Edited by Jeremy Parsons

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Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I've spent enough time with sub-par follow focuses to last me the rest of my life so build-quality means everything. I haven't seen anything outside of Arri/Oconner/Chroisziel that really made the grade but I'm always willing to take a look at new places (for example Bright Tangerine was founded by a former Arri designer and they make great matte boxes http://www.brighttangerine.com).

 

For now I've concluded that the only real options are the studio configs such as the FF4/5 or Cine Focus One by Oconner. They separate the gear box with an arm that extends to reach the lens. I guess I'll have to save my pennies for one of those. Keep posting options if you find anything interesting though!

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The Chrosziel single sided swingarm type designs look really good to me. Sometimes not too expensive used prices. Modern catalogues call them 203-013 and 204-013.

 

Petroff made a swingarm type FF, later (he swears) that Cavision cloned his design. The Cavision ones are quite cheap, but I can't tell from a distance if they have much of the good design that the Crosziel has.

 

One thing I have noticed about some of the new brands trying to muscle in from the low end of the market is that the FFs are a bit overbuilt rather than being perfectly designed, and often affect the style of intensive design (affected style vs the real thing).

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That Ikan one you linked to. To save the space the drive gear probably needs to be able to go on either the front or back side of the swingarm. When on the front side the drive gear will hopefully sit over the rail clamp.

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